Contexte Pour réduire la pénurie de respirateurs et de masques chirurgicaux N95 pendant la pandémie COVID-19, des équipements stockés au-delà de leur date d’expiration pourraient être mis en circulation. Objectif Le test centralisé des lots de masques chirurgicaux périmés et du N95 pour une distribution sûre aux services hospitaliers permet aux utilisateurs de gagner du temps.
Background To reduce the shortage of N95 respirators and surgical masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, stockpiled equipment beyond its expiry date could be released. Aim Centralized testing of batches of expired surgical masks and N95 for safe distribution to hospital departments saving users time. Methods Tests of compliance with health authority directives were developed and carried out on 175 batches of N95 masks and 31 batches of surgical masks from 12th March 2020 to 16 April 2020. Five quality-control tests were performed on batch samples to check: packaging integrity, mask appearance, breaking strength of elastic ties and strength of nose clip test, and face-fit. Findings Forty-nine per cent of FFP2 mask batches were compliant with directives, 32% of batches were compliant but with some concerns and 19% of batches were non-compliant. For surgical masks, 58% of batches were compliant, 39% of batches compliant but with concerns and 3% of batches were non-compliant. Conclusion The main areas of non-compliance were the breaking strength of the elastic ties and the nose clip but these alone were not considered to make the masks unacceptable. Only mask appearance and face-fit results were decisive non-compliance criteria.